Friday, October 26, 2001

Holiday Logos

I've been inspired by Google to come up with some holiday or special event-based logos for this web site. I figure with all you photoshop types out there, this shouldn't be too hard.

I'm looking for a better halloween one that I have right now (see top of page), and maybe a Christmas one too. And any other holidays you can think of :) I'll use the ones I like the best.

Click the link for a hi-res version of the logo.

Updated 16:31 Link to the original spine graphic used to create the logo.

Original:



This is the biggest resolution version of the logo I have, but remember it has to be resized in the end to fit at the top of the page (approx. 300 x 82).

Text:



Spine graphic:

Thursday, October 25, 2001

Snow White DVD may be glitchy with XP

Proud owners of Microsoft's new Windows XP operating system may find that they can't play one of the hottest DVDs of the holiday season on their computers: Disney's re-release of its classic film, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

Original story: http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-7648523.html

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

DJ Jazzy Jeff @ Merrill's

Yes, you read that correctly. DJ Jazzy Jeff, of DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince fame, is coming to Halifax, and will be performing at Merrill's tomorrow, Thursday, October 25th. I know I'm going; there's no way I could miss this. This is just as good as when Rob Base came to the Palace :)

Friday, October 19, 2001

Moderation of comments

I'm working on a way for users to be randomly given the ability to moderate comments. This may take a while because the more I tinker with it, the more I find that this software is held together very tenuously with strands of thread :)

What I'd like to see from you guys are suggestions for reasons for moderation, like "funny" or "retarded" or things like that. Suggest both good (+) and bad (-) reasons. I look forward to reading your suggestions.

Current moderation reasons:
  • Asinine (-)
  • Bin Laden (-)
  • Redundant (-)
  • Stupid (-)
  • Offtopic (-)
  • Cool (+)
  • Funny (+)
  • Insightful (+)
  • Interesting (+)
  • Informative (+)
  • Wednesday, October 17, 2001

    Pitbulls are damn tough, apparently

    According to this article, it takes 7 shots from 9mm service pistol, or several blasts from a shotgun to take down a crazy, giant pitbull. Good information to know in case you're ever in a dark alley with a crazy, giant pitbull.

    Update: Yes, that is my article on FARK :)

    Monday, October 15, 2001

    Some people shouldn't use computers

    I had the chance to correspond with a lovely individual today, whom I'll tell you about. Suffice it to say that, as the title suggests, some people just shouldn't use computers. But first let me give you a little back story...

    I run several mailing lists, as many of you know. One of these is a fairly popular one that exists for developers and users of an open-source multiple-protocol messenging client to communicate. There are several hundred people on this mailing list, so I expect to get a "Please help me do something" email once in a while, and that's fine. What I don't expect (or tolerate) is the guy who corresponded with me today.

    He wanted to be removed from the list. Aside from the fact that he couldn't figure out how to remove himself from the list when instructions on how to do so are included with every email sent out on said list, his tone wasn't exactly friendly, as, I'm sure, yours would be if you were asking somebody to help you. I, being the caring individual that I am, reflected upon the old axiom: Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach him to fish and he'll never go hungry. I decided not to unsubscribe him myself, but rather tell him how to do it himself. I forwarded him a URL to the options page for this particular list:
     Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 13:12:00 -0300 (ADT) From: Steve Dinn  To: [removed]@aol.com Cc: everybuddy-admin@lists.spine.cx Subject: Re: remove me   To be removed, go to: http://lists.spine.cx/options/everybuddy/[your email address]  Example (for me): http://lists.spine.cx/options/everybuddy/sdinn@spine.cx   If you've forgotten, or don't know, your password, there's a facility to have it emailed to you.          -Steve. 
    I thought I was being fairly helpful. I was nice and polite, despite the fact that he was neither with me. I felt good about myself. I had helped another human being. My karma was up.

    What a jolt to the system when I got this back:
     From @aol.com Mon Oct 15 17:55:07 2001 Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 13:50:43 EDT From: [removed]@aol.com To: sdinn@spine.cx Subject: Re: remove me  This link does not work??????????  UNSUBSCRIBE ME NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  In a message dated 10/15/2001 9:12:14 AM Pacific Daylight Time, sdinn@spine.cx writes:        http://lists.spine.cx/options/everybuddy/[your email address] 
    I was taken aback. What am i to say to something like this? Here I was attempting to enlighten this poor, poor person, and yet they strike at me as if I am an eskimo to their baby seal. I wasn't about to stand for it. I paused, pensively for a moment, collecting my thoughts, and then put the proverbial pen to paper (yes, I know I'm on a computer):
     From sdinn@spine.cx Mon Oct 15 17:55:38 2001 Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 14:59:16 -0300 (ADT) From: Steve Dinn  To: [removed]@aol.com Subject: Re: remove me  Jesus, calm down buddy.  What's your problem?  I'll unsubscribe for you.  In case you didn't realize, a complete set of list commands are included with *every* email that goes out from the list.  Perhaps you should try reading those before flying off the handle at people who really have nothing to do with your inability to comprehend simple instructions. People would be much more willing to help you if you didn't come off as such a prick.  You _did_ replace "[your email address]" with "[removed]@aol.com", right?     -Steve. 
    He hasn't responded yet. I kinda hope he does...I think I'll tell him that I infected my last email with anthrax :)

    Cool stop-motion animation

    A friend of mine told me about this friend of hers who made his first stop-motion animated film. I have to say, for a first attempt, it's pretty sweet.

    Check it out. You'll need Real Player to make it go.

    Sunday, October 14, 2001

    Mr. Leather 2002

    In an interesting twist of fate, I happen to have some photos from the Mr. Leather 2002 contest held at Reflections last Saturday night. One of our users, morr, has a girlfriend whose brother organized the show. Anyway, I lent them my digital camera, and the rest is history. See the photos of this event here.

    For those of you who actually like to click on the "read more" links, here's a bonus "photoshop this pic" for you:

    Original:

    Saturday, October 13, 2001

    Bert is Evil shut down

    In the wake of Bert appearing in photos with Osama bin Laden in a Bangladesh-made poster, the Bert is Evil website has been shut down and replaced with a letter from the guy who started it all, explaining his reasons. It's a real shame it had to come to this, but I guess I can understand his point.

    Fortunately, I have the whole thing mirrored here for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of seeing it yet.

    Thursday, October 11, 2001

    Encode radio stations to MP3 in realtime with your phone

    Damn. I think I want this. Nokia has announced new model of cell phone that can not only play but also ENCODE mp3s. It also has a builtin FM radio. This phone will allow you to record FM radio and encode it in realtime to an MP3 whicih you can then transfer to your computer.

    It also has a full QWERTY keyboard and looks kind of similar to a gameboy advance. Nokia's official web site is here. A write up and some pictures are here. This thing looks like it may just give the RIM Blackberry a run for its money. Too bad it's not available in North America :(

    This one's pretty cool too.

    Why didn't anybody cheat on Just Like Mom?

    Remember the game show Just Like Mom? It was basically like the Newlywed game except it was a mother and one of her kids that would try to match their answers. Read about my problems with this whole scenario.

    Yeah, it's true; even as a kid, I would ridicule stupid things that didn't make sense. Especially things like this. After all, it's not like it's Jeopardy! or anything, this is "Just Like Mom" for shit's sake. The questions that were asked on this show were so predictable that any mother deserving of that title who wanted to win her kid a trip to DisneyLand would try and practice some of these forseeable Q and A's in advance. Questions like, "What do your mom and dad argue about the most?" came up constantly. If they had reviewed previously taped episodes and put a little bit of legwork into it, they could have run away with the victory like the guy on Press Your Luck in 1984.

    However, the worst part of this show by far, was the "Bake Off" finale portion. All bets are off here, the winner of this final round can still win the game almost no matter how far they were behind. The premise is this: the kids are put in a little kitchenette, each with identical sets of ingredients and are told to mix up some cookie dough. The moms are then supposed to guess which cookie (out of three) their kid made within 60 seconds. Pretty daunting task, eh? Get real. This is the easiest challenge of all. All the mom/kid team has to decide on is what will be the distinguishing ingredient. Think about it, "Ok little Jimmy, all you have to do is dump the whole box of raisins in your cookie batter, and mommy will know it's yours." Substitute raisins for another unusual or easily identifiable cookie ingredient in case they don't happen to have a certain one available that day, and BOOM! you're on your way to DisneyLand.

    It all comes down to this, a creed of sorts that has helped me through many a situation:
    If they didn't really want you to cheat, they wouldn't make it so damn easy.

    Thursday, October 4, 2001

    Television shows in 16 x 9

    So far this year, I've noticed three shows being broadcast in a 16 x 9 aspect ratio (1.78 : 1): Angel, Enterprise, and E.R.. I think this is the best thing to happen to T.V. since color. It's about time that Television was ushered into the 21st century. When HDTV becomes more commonplace, all shows are going to have to adapt to this format (like the Sopranos). I can't wait.

    Yee Haw! Ride it, yeah!

    An Afghan horse trader leads his horses through the mountainous area of the Khyber Pass headed to the western Pakistani city of Peshawar, October 3, 2001. The horse trader brings horses from the northern parts of Afghanistan and travels for about 25 days to reach markets in Pakistan to sell them. (Aziz Haidari/Reuters)

    Original:

    Wednesday, October 3, 2001

    Buy yourself an ass-kicking

    This guy, at some point in the past, had a very interesting auction running on Ebay. Unfortunately, the thought police got to it before the masses could.

    I guess he's just sick and tired of kicking people's asses for free.

    Building a Home Theatre

    I'm getting quite serious about the whole home theatre thing. I'm planning to completely remodel one of the rooms in my basement to function solely as my theatre room sometime in the not-so-distant future.

    I've already had a contractor come and take measurements of the room and discuss with me what I want done. When the actual renevation is taking place, I'll be sure to post lots of photos so you can follow the progress. Ok, ok, it's mainly for me, but perhaps someone else out there will find it interesting too :)

    Courtney Love Sues Ex-Nirvana Members

    In a move destined to keep the final recorded works of Nirvana out of fans' hands for many months, Courtney Love has sued both Universal Music Group and the two surviving members of the band, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic for total control over the rights to Nirvana's music.

    Click here for the original article.

    Monday, October 1, 2001

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer 2001/2002 Season Premiere

    Click below for my review of season premiere of BTVS. There may be some spoilers, so if you haven't seen it yet, but still want to be surprised, don't read it, although, I don't think I'll shock anyone to say that they bring her back to life :)

    I was concerned not so much about if they were going to bring Buffy back (because it's not much of a show without the title character), but about how they would bring her back. I really didn't want some cheesy time paradox, as Star Trek is often wont to do, or have her come out of the shower a la Patrick Duffy. The premiere really didn't disappoint. I must say, I think that the show was classic Buffy. There were funny parts (Grrrr! Arrrgh!), the obigatory demons, and lesbian wiccas doing that crazy stuff that lesbian wiccas do.

    But onto what I really think: The "bringing her back" scene was really well done. I'm glad it wasn't just a flash-in-the-pan kind of spell...that would have cheapened the whole deal and made people wonder why this sort of thing doesn't happen all the time. The destruction of the last urn of Osiris has pretty much prevented them from ever writing this into the story again. Snakes coming out of mouths and spontaneous arm slicing let you know that you're dealing with some serious shit.

    Let's talk about the characters:
    • Giles - He obviously wants to go back to doing taster's choice commercials because he's now only listed as a "Special Guest Star." Oh well. I liked Giles.
    • Willow - Kick ass. What else is there to say. She looks as hot in crazy wiccan robes as she does in a band camp t-shirt. If she's good enough to perform a ressurection (pretty much the mack daddy of all spells) then she's becoming one DAMN powerful witch.
    • Tara - Anybody else think that she lost weight and Xander found it? She seems to be coming into her own as a witch as well.
    • Spike - He is becoming a big wuss. One can only theorize what will happen once he finds that Buffy is alive once more. We only got to see him bust one head and that's just not enough.
    • Xander and Anya - Comic relief, and occasionally, one of them will do something useful. That's it.
    • Buffy - Confused as hell, but what are you gonna do? She's been dead for three months. I like how they've made her confused and unsure of herself. With the present lack of a new super-enemy, this'll give the gang something to work towards, especially with the lack of Giles
    Overall, I thought it was a pretty good show. Makeup on the biker demons was superb, as I've come to expect from Buffy and Angel (Speaking of which, anyone care to post a review of the premiere of that show?) There hasn't been a season of Buffy yet that hasn't found me couch-bound to watch it. I look forward to this one too.

    Portable MP3 Player on the cheap

    Found a link to a technology company selling a portable MP3 player that can use Compact Flash cards, or IBM's microdrives, a storage medium compatible with Compact Flash cards. That means an effective capacity of 1GB! But the best thing is the price: US$99.

    Removing the WTC from films

    Recently, I read a review of "Zoolander" in which it was stated that the World Trade Center towers were digitally removed from the New York Skyline. Do you think that this should be done? After all, when this movie was made, they were there.

    Granted, any movie that claims itself to be set after 11 Sep 2001 should not have the towers, but do you agree with T.V. shows and movies digitally removing them from previously shot footage?

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